In David-vs.-Goliath fashion, Andy Seuss recorded a career-best second-place finish in Saturday’s ARCA Racing Series General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway (AL). Seuss of Hampstead, N.H. patiently made his way towards the front from the 33rd starting position and fell short of the win by just 0.108 seconds.
“It’s pretty incredible. I go back and forth as competitor. You want to win and don’t want to pat yourself on the back for anything but a win. But, if you take a step back and see the competition we were up against, it’s really neat,” said Seuss, a two-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Champion. “It’s right up there with any of the other highlights of my career. It’s such a sense of accomplishment really. Talladega itself is really special. My dad brought me on a father-son trip there when I was 12. I remember thinking I’d never make it to the Talladega Short Track to race let alone the superspeedway.”
For many watching at the track and at home, Seuss played the role of the underdog that everybody likes to cheer for. The veteran racer is an undefended, often underfunded, hard-nosed driver, who puts his blood, sweat and tears into his racing. In areas where some teams use their budget to go fast, Seuss uses hard work and determination.
Competing against some of the sport’s most well-funded racing teams, the 30-year-old contended for the win in a car prepared in a simple two-bay boat garage. With assistance from car owner Chris Our and Our Motorsports, Seuss proved that he’s a force to be reckoned with.
“I’m have a great opportunity with Chris Our. We may be a small team, but he’s giving us everything we need to win,” Seuss stated. “We’re already in the works of finishing up our first flange-fit car and we plan to go to Pocono with that. We bought a couple used bodies from MDM and that’s how we have to operate. We’ll adapt our two superspeedway cars to the new bodies. The next time those tests come around, we’re hoping to have two cars there. For this little team, things are happening. We now have two engines, two superspeedway cars and two downforce cars. The funny thing is, I just can’t fit it all in my little garage.
“We’re very fortunate to get one for the little guys and we’re going to take the opportunities we get to be a better team.”
Rain showers canceled Friday’s scheduled qualifying and that forced Seuss to start 33rd based on ARCA Racing Series owner points. After being collected in an early incident, Seuss patiently made his way towards the front and cracked the top 10 with just more than 10 laps to go. From there, the veteran racer picked them off one-by-one and avoided carnage to put himself in the fourth position for a restart with one lap to go.
Seuss used his veteran prowess to quickly work his way to the inside of the race track and pick off two more cars as the lead pack powered down the backstretch. He then stayed in the shadows of the leader before settling for a runner-up finish at the stripe.
“It was definitely an uphill battle with only having a half hour practice with a car we never ran before,” Seuss said. “Because qualifying got rained out we started in the back and lost the draft right away. As a driver, my brain never stops and I was trying to figure everything out. We got some damage in a crash too and we did repair it as much as we could. We hung in there in there put ourselves in a good position. You just never give up.
“It just really came together for us at the end. I don’t believe in luck. I believe in preparation and opportunity. Those opportunities came and we were as prepared as anybody to take advantage of them.”
Saturday’s race at Talladega was just Seuss’ fifth-career ARCA Racing Series start.
Seuss will now step away from ARCA competition until the June 9 race at Pocono Raceway (PA). In the meantime, he’ll focus his efforts on Modified racing. His next race will be with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour on Saturday, May 13 at Langley Speedway (VA).